Monday, December 27, 2010

the new MEAT in my life...

I started my new internship at VERAMEAT today. Here's a little but about the company taken from their website:

Each piece of VERAMEAT jewelry mirrors a self-sufficient life form with a sculptural presence. Hand-crafted in New York City from such fine materials as ecologically sound recycled silver and pure 14k gold, VERAMEAT designs are artfully refined contemporary heirlooms to inspire your own individual flair.

VERAMEAT is Vera Balyura, a teller of winding tales in search of the extraordinary. Born in Ukraine, she recalls woodcarving with her grandfather, horseback riding in Utah & moving to New York to be a high fashion model all before the age of 14. Each design reflects a personal (yet universal) inspiration—from traveling the world, making music, maritime ny sagas, botanical structures of light, futuristic visions of rogue spacemen in beer, and before history.

VERAMEAT’s collection is characterized by richly articulate surfaces, wearability, and subtle details exacted with precision inherited from her grandmother, a surgeon. The repertoire is playful and ferocious: Hearts stitched by hand into Godzilla Robot’s gilded circuit board show he has love; A Deathly Beautiful Ballad keeps vigil reinventing your finger; Dinosaurs devour fried chicken yum; When Knight in Shining Armor bumps against your heart, you’ve made a friend for life.

I'm doing typical intern-y stuff like putting together orders to ship out and bookkeeping what not but Vera is super chill and cute and so is her little doggie Fred (who is a girl!) We talked a bunch about how she started her company, the industry etc. while I packed up jewelry in boxes. I already want to buy so many of her pieces but even after my employee discount I think I will be broke if I don't narrow it down to one or two things. I'm going in again tomorrow because there is a lot to be done between all the holiday orders and preparing for the biggest shipment yet---to Urban Outfitters! Huge! I'm really excited to be jumpin' on the band wagon with such an awesome company that is obviously going places while staying conscious of it's impact on industry workers and the environment.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

hopefully santa reads my blog ; )

"Gift giving is the purest expression of friendship,"
-Jack Donaghy (30 Rock)

I've been makin' my list n checkin' it's what I've come up with:

Not that I NEED yet another pair of glasses, but these vintage inspired frames by Warby Parker deliver one pair of glasses to someone in need with every purchase. Now that's eye wear with a purpose! where near a necessity but isn't life so much cooler through a kaleidoscope?

Ok so these I actually NEED. Osborn Alpaca Party Vegans are handcrafted in Guatemala and inspired by their traditional kente cloth. These shoes are comprised of woven cotton and the soles are made out recycled rubber tires instead of leather, thus vegan. Aren't they just perfect all over!

By purchasing PACT Organic Underwear you are supporting and encouraging organic cotton farmers, responsible labor practices, and businesses that form partnerships with nonprofit organizations dedicated to positive change in our world. This limited edition Winter Lights Collection was designed by Yves Behar especially for the Lighting Hope for Haiti program. The prints represent colorful plays of light and celebrate the nostalgia and festiveness of holiday lights.

SHROOMS! Can never have enough shrooms! This year I really want to start growing my own herbs and veggies and this Easy-to-Grow Mushroom Garden looks so fast and easy to use.

A dress form has been on my wish list for about 5 years now and I keep putting off getting one because it is a bit of an investment (financially and spaceially) but I finally need to suck it up and just buy one already. I know it will make my life so much easier!

This hand embroidered and sewn necklace by spinthread is gorgeous and so meticulously made. It's the kind of thing that I could figure out how to make myself, but definitely don't have the patience for. Plus why no support fellow crafters while your at it?

My roommates will probably kill me for adding another appliance to our already overcrowded kitchen, but having a slow cooker seems like such a life saver in the cold winter months, especially when I'm super busy between class, interning and working. How nice does coming home to a warm, fully cooked meal or waking up to yummy steaming oats sound?

Well, hope I was good little girl this year. Happy holidays errbody!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cookin' with Coolio

So...Coolio has a cookbook. It's called Cookin' with Coolio: 5 star meals at a 1 star price. "It's the Ghetto Gourmet!" and includes both Ghettalian and Blasian cuisine. It's definitely not vegan in the least bit, buuut his interview on npr is hilarious as is the entire Cookin' With Coolio Channel on youtube.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

T-Gives 2k10

This is the first year of my life that I will be out of America for Thanksgiving. Even though I was not a turkey eater for most of my life, I still loved the tradition of sitting around a table filled with friends and family, laughing and talking about what we are most thankful for. That is, until I realized the reality that is the carcass of a bird in the middle of our table. Alicia Silverstone, as always, says it best " I mean, if we are being grateful, it would be beautiful if we were mindful of non-violence and looked to see how we can give back, instead of just taking. We feel terrible at the end of the meal anyway because we gorged ourselves on food that our bodies don't handle well. These are the foods that are nasty to our bodies and nasty to the planet…. and not to mention nasty to the turkeys!" It can be a kinda hard being the only vegan at a non-vegan gathering, especially one that is centered around gorging oneself with meat until the point of near explosion. Just a few fun-facts about Turkeys from The Girlie Girl Army:
-Between 1965 and 2000, the weight of the average turkey raised commercially in the U.S. increased by 57 percent, from an average of 18 pounds to an average of 28.2 pounds, causing commercially-bred turkeys to suffer from crippling foot and leg problems.
-Also catering to consumer preferences for “white meat,” the industry has selectively bred turkeys to have abnormally large breasts. This anatomical manipulation makes it difficult for male turkeys to mount the females, eliminating these birds’ ability to reproduce naturally. As a result, artificial insemination is now the sole means of reproduction on factory farms, where breeder birds are confined for months on end.
-Every year, more than 46 million turkeys are killed for Thanksgiving holiday dinners, but it doesn’t have to be this way. If you think these birds are as incredible as we do, you can join talk show host and animal advocate Ellen DeGeneres, Farm Sanctuary’s 2010 Adopt-A-Turkey Project spokesperson, in starting a new tradition this year by adopting a turkey instead of eating. Visit for details or call the Turkey Adoption Hotline at 1-888-SPONSOR

Here are some good links from around the web to help plan an amazing turkey-less T-Gives:
-Farm Sanctuary
-Operation Turkey Undercover: The Frightening Truth About Your Thanksgiving Day Bird. Yeeek.
-Guest blog post from Farm Sanctuary's Gene Baur on The Kind Life plus this recipe for Wild rice cornbread stuffing that looks so so flame!
-Ten fascinating facts about Turkeys and Thanksgiving alternative traditions.
-The New York Times published a collection of vegetarian Thanksgiving ideas
-Archive recipes from Fat Free Vegan blog wants you to have a very vegan Thanksgiving and shares some myths about Turkeys too!
-Forgo the highly caloric meal altogether: try out this five-course Thanksgiving meal in songs
-Thanksgiving is not just about gorging yourself and being wasteful. Read: how to have and eco-friendly Thanksgiving.
-Recipe: Vegan and gluten-free Cranberry Quinoa Stuffing. yum!
-Or if you plan to go out for Thanksgiving dinner, CleanplatesNYC shares their top picks for a veg-friendly Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 19, 2010

World Go Vegan Month

November is World Go Vegan Month-the perfect time to celebrate veganism and encourage non-vegans around you to try it out. Here are some vegan resources I would like to share:

-how to avoid being a judgmental vegan.
-Planet Green's 10 Vegan recipes for fall
-all you need to know about factory farming.
**Bloomburg Businessweek published an article on November 4 called “The Rise of the Power Vegans.” The article features vegans such as Las Vegas entrepreneur Steve Wynn, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, and high-profile Americans such as Bill Clinton who are experimenting with a plant-based diet.

-Barnivore (vegan bear and wine guide)
-cute and delicious (crafts & vegan treats)
-Elana's Pantry (Gluten Free)
-Golubka (raw)
-Gone Raw (raw)
-The Kind Life (bible, also new recipe index)
-PETA's Vegan Startup Kit
-stonesoup (5 ingredient recipes)
-Vegan Coach (good basic how-to guides)

-Butterball (Calculators and Conversions )
-Still Tasty (Ultimate shelf life guide)
-Clean Plates NYC (like zaggets but for healthy restaurants)
-4coursevegan (check out the archives for menu planning ideas)
-had to include this bit of food porn
-The Vegan RD Thoughts on being vegan from a dietitian's perspective
-Care2 Food and Recipes
-Recipe Matcher (find recipes using what you already have)
-Vegan Porn (News and Information for the vegans who get it)
-VegNews Magazine

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

November Linky-Links

Today is America Recycles Day! Woo. Even though I am not in America, I would like to celebrate by noting some dope recycled things out there

-these bangles made out of recycled newspaper are real cute. and they're made in Brooklyn!
-I recently discovered and quickly became obsessed with Osborn handcrafted shoes. They started to ditch leather soles use recycled rubber tires aka also vegan! yeeee!
-Genius! Jar tops that allow you to transform your old jars into real kitchenware. So futuristic.
-Bodkin often uses vintage or salvaged textiles in combination with other eco-fabrics like organic cotton. I was totally blown away by the hand-dyed cotton pieces in their Autumn/ Winter 2010 collection. Check out the laundry list of natural items used to make the dye!!
-8 ways to reuse a t-shirt. dope!
-"Just because it's a green shoe doesn't mean it has to look like an Earth shoe or Birkenstock." True that. And if you don't already agree, check out these awesome shoes by Olsenhaus made out of recycled T.V. screens.

in other eco news...
-The Free People blog is has a ton of great diy projects, like this diy dream catcher. Who would have thought to use it for anything besides catching your dreams?
-VOTE for your favorite eco-fashion designer
-The Rise of the Power Vegans:Steve Wynn, Russell Simmons, Bill Clinton and a comparable cast of heavies are now using tempeh to assert their superiority. A look at what gives.
-The only reason I an excited to return to cold weather: new vegan boots!
-Food as art: art as food.
-Why you should bake with weed!
-A look at fashion industry labor regulations- or should I say not-so-regulations?

Oh, and couldn't leave out these gems...
-Four Loko banned in New York. Probably a good thing?
-The Sabbath Manifesto:designed to slow down lives in an increasingly hectic world. So jumpin on the band wagon on this one!
-50 reasons to be pretty damn euphoric you live in New York City.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

~*October Linky-Links*~

-reasons why you should buy organic cotton as much as possible
-my life became complete when i found this recipe for fresh homemade Sriracha!
-loved reading about Yoko Ono's wishing tree. i'm about to make my own
-6 tips to generate outstanding ideas
-a great quote from this awesome article:
“Worrying is like praying for your worst fears to happen”

-gluten intolerance? a good article on my newest lifestyle experiment
-This stunning ball gown by young designer Yuliya Kyrpo is literally made from a thousand paper cranes, which in turn were made from the twisted truth of too many old Metro newspapers. It’s on display at London’s Science Museum.
-Here’s how to clean up & revive your sluggish, bloated Mac from Lifehacker.
-I see it. I like it. I make it: P.S.- I Made Thisis a movement. It’s a call to action to re-imagine, re-use and re-invent.
-Guess What’s in The Picture [Foodlike Substance]
-check out these Long Exposure Photos of Facebook Albums
-how to feel miserable as an artist
-Famous Rappers and Their 20th-Century Literary Counterparts
-1000Awesomethings #983 That pile of assorted beers left in your fridge after a party

Friday, September 3, 2010

wise words from an Afregan

This is an excerpt from an interview with The Precision Afrikan over at You can read the whole interview here.

3.How do you see the culture that developped in Black Africa as connected to veganism?

I am not a practicing archaeologist or anthropologist in this matter, but much anecdotal and historical evidence presents some of the people of Kemet, also known as Ancient Egyptians, as vegetarians. In general, pre-colonial diets where of whole foods, whether or not meat was included, and pre-colonial lifestyles in many parts of black Africa were seen, by Western anthropologists of the time (mid-19th century), as among the healthiest in the world. Now our life-spans and quality of life are the shortest and most miserable, largely due to neo-colonialism, neo-liberalism and rule by criminal governments. We are aid-dependent, and land tenure in Africa is at a state of perpetual crisis, while cash-crops prioritize growing cacao, coffee, and flowers over food. We even sell immense hectares of land to foreign countries for them to grow food for their own populations! Animal pastoralism is another problem, destroying vegetation across vast swaths of land and accelerating desertification. If all that land grew fruits and vegetables, many of our dietary and food security problems could begin to find resolution. And all these tendencies greatly exacerbate gender inequality as women struggle to grow kitchen gardens to feed families and tend to the crucial but totally unpaid task of reproductive labor, while men tend to focus on cash-crops and preferentially receive implements and resources from governments, multinationals and some NGOs to grow them.

Overall, transitioning towards veganism in Africa will ease malnutrition, raise production levels, increase self-sufficiency and I think reduce tendencies towards conflict and needless aggression. In terms of food policy, we can grow so much of our own fresh fruits and vegetables, organically and sustainably, if we focus on that goal at the continental and grassroots levels. In terms of societal outcomes, I think veganism improves social tolerance, physical well-being, reduces stress, makes the brain work more efficiently, improves immunity and reduces illness, reduces cancer levels, and so on. People will be more cooperative and conscientious of proper land stewardship and societal responsibility and cohesion in a vegan society – at least. Veganism in Africa would probably be far more revolutionary than that.

5.In France, when we think about revolutionary afrikan position in North America, we think about Move or Dead Prez. Nevertheless, we would have a criticism: it seems that a poisonless perspective was the central aspect, not really nature, the animals, the Earth. What would you say to that?

For Africans, there is little time to focus on animal liberation alone. It makes no sense, when humans are in so much misery. Someone like me could never get behind the white animal liberation scene, because they act like it is the central problem of injustice in the world, which from my perspective is absurd and laughable. Oppressed people start at the perspective of their own oppression. Of course, everything else is included when we consider the foul human trends that lead to all kinds of exploitation. Aggression, greed, ignorance, violence, dominion – these are applied to create hierarchies and exploitation amongst humans and between humans and animals. But someone like me and I think Dead Prez or the MOVE Organization sees an urgent need to focus on human problems, and cannot in good conscience focus on animal liberation alone. Only a very privileged person can afford to only focus on animal liberation, so for a lot of people of the revolutionary African position in North America, that sort of thing is very alien, and rightfully so in my opinion. We don’t have the luxury to focus on one single issue, especially one that is tangential to our own suffering and oppression as black human beings. It all must be included – human liberation, Earth liberation, non-human liberation.

I've definitely noticed the lack of vegan options or even healthy food items for that matter and an obvious ignorance about nutrition. The other night we watched a documentary made by a former NYU in Ghana student about the FanIce craze here. FanIce is a frozen treat that comes in a plastic pouch. You bite off the edge and suck the ice cream out. In the documentary, locals who were interviewed about how much they love it also made comments about how it is soooo good for you and "makes you grow big and strong." I know that there are people here struggling to consume as many calories as possible for the least amount of money, but it I think there should be more information about how to get in non-dairy/sugar-loaded forms.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Happy September Linky-Links 9/2

In honor of the September issues hitting the stands (or should I say "having already hit"-excuse me, I'm on Ghanaian time...) this collection of Linky-Links are strictly about fashionnn!

Monday, August 23, 2010

the white on rice

After eating out for every meal as a group of 43+, I finally cooked a meal for myself last night! I cooked up some of that brown rice with dried mushrooms and some carrot and onion. I soaked the rice overnight before cooking (as per usual) but when I went to bring the water to a boil I noticed that most of the "brown" part of the rice had fallen off and tinted the soaking water. After cooking and eating the rice, I have come to the conclusion that it is just white rice with brown magic marker on top. I'm only kidding (I hope) but this definitely is not normal brown rice and I can't seem to find it anywhere!!! I don't understand why a. it is so hard to find brown rice and b. why it is more expensive if is actually less processed than white?! I came across this article that describes brown rice vs white rice from an environmental and health perspective. Everything here appears to be the least nutritious version, yet more expensive and environmentally damaging.